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While I already posted fluff idea for (hopefully legal) Chaos Imperial Guards...
Here's the type of play I like.
1. Have a strong Ally who'll shield me from harm.
2. I stack up on the resource to repay the 'guard' for protection, which results in stronger bond as an Alliance, while increasing my influence as a 'client'.
3. Build up static defense measurements which would protect my key buildings/objects, and acquire considerable amounts of 'terror weapons' if applicable.
4. Extend the defense line unto the enemy border line, then pull..
a) Use my 'guard' to do the works, sit back and put a stop to the carnage if the opponent surrenders.
b) War of attrition as I laugh at futile attempts of the foe encased in my 'line of defense'.
c) Release my 'terror weapons' without contemplation, if complete obliteration would ensure no further seed of insurgencies grow.
5. Win the game if all went smooth. If not, I fight to the last man I own and not surrender.
Notes that might help on the advice.
Small, elite fighting force is preferred but not required.
Survivability on melee is appreciated, but not in absolute need as I am confident in my firepower.
I -do- value 'my men'. All others are considered expendables. (Just in games for the latter, of course)
I believe in "defense wins the game" in sports, and hold up in one spot as I build up fire base.
If I MUST attack, I would go for super long range artillery or naval/aerial bombardments to batter up enemies and soften them up before I send my units to already-terrorized and wounded foes. Otherwise, I prefer to see my defense prevail against superior numbers of the enemies.
I reduced it down to
Imperial Guard, Tau Empire, Space Marines, or Chaos Space Marines.
Any other suggestions/narrowing what seems to be best for me?
Chaos Imperial Guard? That, and most of the things you initially posted, all come down to fluff. There are no rules regulating fluff, so if you want your Imperial Guard troops to be allied with Chaos, I don't see why not, as long as they don't ally with the Daemonhunters or Witch Hunters as well. Fluff-wise, they'd probably include plenty of psykers.
As for what army to use for an elite army that can shoot defensively from a long range away, I'd say that Space Marines would get my vote. They're elite, shooty, and can win in close combat if they have to.
The Imperial Guard fits well in all ways besides 'elite'. An IG army is probably going to be pretty large, unless you mainly use veteran squads.
Tau are just wrong if you want any sort of close combat ability. They're the worst close combat army in the game, bar none.
Chaos just isn't that shooty, except in small games. The problem they have in large games, in regards to shooting, is all their good 'shooty' units are heavy choices. Havoks, Defilers, Predators, Obliterators, and vindicators are all heavy choices, which really limits your options. You could use terminators for combi-weapons, but regular Space Marines just shoot better, since they have troops, elites, and fast attack units that can fulfill the same roles.
"Any job worth doing, is worth doing with a powerklaw."
Just checking you know this is a 40k tabletop forum. Of your first points most aren't really relevant to gameplay except in simplified form, or unless you play with teams alot. Sounds more like an RTS gameplay strategy.
Of your second check list..... your kind of at odds with your own choices.
I guess you could consider space marines the elite force, but they don't really have the long distance artillery like guard. Chaos SM are a bit more limited than the normal kind so are probably more CC orientated, with normal having more choices.
Generally you have to choose a specific trait, and the mix your looking for doesn't really hit on anything specific.
Guard is long range artillery that puts up a defence and just wipes other people off the table (lots of weak crappy troops tho).
SM are generally jack of all trades and pretty good at it too, plus they are very hard to kill, but they are argueably the most boring army in the game that everyone plays.
Tau is a little more interesting, requires a bit more finese to play and has the long range capabilities with a bit more mobility than guard. They also get some interesting troops choices (Fire Warriors or Kroot) which fill diffrent roles.
Tau are immune to the corrupting influence of chaos
RTS, yes. But generally that's what I would do in team games; pick the 'shock trooper' role with brutal close combat/go for the super long range roles in applicable games. I take extreme of either end in terms of Warhammer 40k; either Assault heavy, or shell-shocking Area of Effect weapons.
Melee survivability of the guards are not at the lowest since Tau is there to get the 'weakest melee' army role, not counting Kroots.
Elite force, it's "preferred", not "required". Everyone thinks I demanded elite force, so I guess that's my grammatical issue there (or others did selective reading).
Plus, Defense wins the game. If the Guards on tabletop plays turtle like I would in Dawn of War on computer games list, then Guards it is.
I wanted to add Chaos factor just so to add spice to boring Emperor's puppets with huge guns and scarecrow (if Guards even LOOK scary) army.
If I can take Chaos units as I would take Daemonhunters rule (quoted on my other post in fluff section), then that'll work the best.
I don't know how 'allies' system in REGULAR game of WH40k works if it's applicable.